Steam Monk (3.5e Race)

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Steam Monks[edit]


Steam Monks are magically animated mechanical bodies which contain the soul of monks fallen in combat. The are similar to small Iron Golems.

Legends tells of two conflicted students from the valley of Wu. Upon their Grand Masters death the two diabolical views clashed for control of the Dojo. Dong of the East was merciful. Sho of the West believed if one chose to become his enemy accepted the final consequences of that choice.

The fight for control of the dojo became a battle, then war. The sacred land of the long since destroyed dojo , was contested by the two empires at the far ends of the valley. One evolved into evil, the other good.

The origin of the steam monk was by Sho evil clerics who captured the souls of fallen good monks in terra cotta pottery, showing the folly of mercy. To further humiliate the imprisoned monks the vases were painted to resemble animal, often monkeys. Further development added simple jointed arms and legs and silly clothing such as oversize hats and shoes which would move about when the monk soul was agitated, normally by placing in a fire pit.

Unknown to the Sho, the imprisoned monks had developed ESP and a weak form of telekinesis. A raid by the Army of Dong was aided the imprisoned monk by providing the raiders information on fortress weakness via ESP, animating acting as distractions, holding doors open and in several cases trip hazards.

Ironically, the Sho fortress was conquered because of departure from in belief to finishing ones opponent.

The blend of Monks disciple, divine magic and Gnome engineering and Dwarven an metallurgy provides the platform for the current Steam Monk.

Physical Description[edit]

Steam Monks may resemble any animal. The monkey being the most common and successful design. The metal chassis is typically copper, bronze or gold in color. They have been brilliantly painted for martial displays or battlefield presence. The have also been camouflaged for clandestine operations.

Steam Monks are of medium size for load capacity, however their ability to contract arm and leg actuators allows them to quality for small size to hit and hide bonus, if desired.

Due to magically hardened striking surfaces and kinetic accelerators they do damage as large creatures if unarmed. Improved Natural Attack Feat.

Steam Monks derive magical power from frequency differential in visible light waves causing an internal glow of various colors which can be view through the armored face plate. Occasionally they vent heat and surplus photons giving off an eerie glowing gases. Internal colors are typical a yellowish—green. Venting is normally green. Glowing and Venting can be controlled enough to avoid any modifier enhancements but only for short periods. An hour at best.


Because Steam Monks are task focused with little interest interacting with anyone and suffer charisma penalties.


Most Steam Monks are Lawful Good, there have been limited success with other Lawful variants, but this rare.


Any land area which would support a large Dojo. The fallen Monk whose soul has been placed into the Steam Monk must come from an established Dojo with sizable resources because of the associated cost in creation. Steam Monk technology is guarded, but shared between ancient Dojo’s of good reputation and a worthy case.


If the Steam Monk is a named Character who has died in game play, the player may start the same level the monk died. All steam Monks have a quest for atonement. Typically, the unfinished task the monk was unable to accomplish while living. The Steam Monk acts as if they had the 4 level Wizard Spell Lesser Geas upon them. Once the quest is complete the magic begins to wear off and the Steam Monk has only weeks before expiring.




Normally they carry the same name of the Monk while alive, however, anagrams of the living Monks names have become popular. Occasionally, the sponsoring Dojo’s Name is used.

Racial Traits[edit]

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
years + + +
Table: Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
years years years + years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male ' " + lb. × () lb.
Female ' " + lb. × () lb.

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